As we creep closer and closer to war in the Ukraine, I interrupted my reading of that situation with an article about the coming election in Quebec. I could not help but see a ludicrous parallel.
Putin claims to protect ethnic Russians in the Ukraine from the extreme right wing elements in the newly formed government there. The danger was greatest in the Crimea where ethnic Russians dominate the population so a referendum was taken and the overwhelming majority of the citizens opted for joining Russia as opposed to staying with the Ukraine. What do those people know that the west does not? I am of the opinion that referendums are an accurate gauge of the citizens wishes and are more or less pure democracy. Why should the west oppose this? Now there is threat of war because some people want to determine their own future. I know there are other serious issues but let us stick with this item for a moment.
Here in Quebec, there seems to be a resurgence of that old independence movement by the PQ. Let us say for argument's sake that the PQ win the election and there is a referendum and that the 'yes' (for separation) vote wins. Will Putin come to the aid of the separatists? Would we be upset if some foreign country came to prevent Quebec from separating or to help us keep Canada together? The obvious answer is 'yes'. This is our affair and has nothing to do with any foreign power. If separation did indeed take place and Quebec became an independent foreign nation and she decided to recruit another power as her ally, we would be powerless to stop her but as long as we are one country, nobody need interfere.
This proves to me that the real issues in the Ukraine are not political boundaries and democracy, but power and ego plays, and economic realities having a lot to do with oil and gas distribution.
As for our own Quebec struggles, I would like to see a serious attempt at separation, which would obviously result in utter failure, so the issue would be put to rest once and for all.